Universal Credit Workers to Stage a two-day Strike for More Staff and Better Working Conditions

Hundreds of Universal Credit workers are set to stage a two-day strike on Tuesday, August 27, following a row over workloads and staffing levels.

According to a report from Manchester Evening News, over 200 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at a contact centre in Stockport, Greater Manchester will walkout Tuesday after ‘running out of patience’ with management.

“The decision to take strike action has not been taken lightly by our members in universal credit. They do their best to help claimants get the support they need. However due to cuts, big increases in workloads and victimising reps, they have run out of patience with management,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

In a report from Morning Star Online, over 90 per cent of the PCS members were said to have voted to strike on a 71 per cent turnout.

 “DWP needs to stop attacking trade unionists and properly negotiate a settlement which would be in the interests of staff and those claimants that our members help, day in, day out,” Mr Serwotka added.

The walkout is said to be motivated by the Department for Work and Pensions’ refusal to meet the demands of workers. To date, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) demands the management to add another 100 staff in Stockport in order to deal with increasing workloads.

The government agency, however, said they are disappointed with the said action and is currently holding meetings with the union to resolve the issues.

“We are disappointed that the PCS in Stockport has taken this course of action. As with previous strikes, our contingency plans will ensure our service is maintained throughout,” a DWP spokesman said.

“We greatly value the work that our colleagues do and we are committed to supporting them in their roles, including by monitoring staff levels and making sure their caseloads are manageable,” he added.